In a 15-minute discussion that took three hours to get to in the Utah County Commission meeting Tuesday morning, commissioners Bill Lee, Tanner Ainge and Nathan Ivie voted unanimously to approve the proposed $12.3 million tax break for the Tyson Foods, Inc. facility that will be built in Eagle Mountain.
Ainge pointed out that at this point, the tax break has been approved by the Alpine School District and the city of Eagle Mountain, which accounts for roughly 95% of the tax break anyway. And while he had positive things to say about the proposed plan, he also made opposing points about the negotiation process that took place.
“I know (Eagle Mountain) is not content to just be a bedroom community,” Ainge said. “I want to celebrate the good things that it brings.”
Ainge said he believes Tyson Foods will serve as a catalyst for future developments, but he hopes negotiations will go differently, and future developments won’t be awarded such a large tax incentive.
“We already have the lowest tax rate (in the state),” Ainge said. “It makes me uncomfortable that we’re not leading with that.”
However, Ainge did not vote to oppose the tax break for the development.
Ivie had only positive things to say about the development and also voted for the tax incentive.
“The biggest thing that I see as a win for this is the diversification of employment opportunity that it brings,” he said.
Ivie also referred to the development as a “long-term win,” suggesting it will prevent the county from being totally reliant on the tech sector for economic growth.
Lee also voted in favor of the tax incentive, but made it clear that negotiations for the development were not over, specifically in reference to road development around the facility.
“We do want to be at the table to negotiate properly for the residents,” Lee said.